Waddell would have traded Crosby for Zhitnik or something.
You can play the if game, but that one man was responsible for ruining that franchise, and ownership is to blame for not canning him sooner.
Past a certain point, ASG was actively running that team into the ground on purpose. They never wanted them in the first place. The Thrashers would still be in Atlanta if the lease owner of the sole suitable facility wasn't hostile towards the team. The relocation had little to do with personnel, though Crosby would have made a difference.
The Penguins still exist because they got their new arena, which was the issue in the first place. The Igloo was a ****hole and the Pens got zero revenue from it. Crosby certainly helped but the real sticking point was political, nothing else.
We've seen from past experiences that one player can definitely rejuvenate a franchise if they win consistently. I mean look at Tampa Bay's attendance compared to the Panthers. Star players and a championship victory can create fans anywhere.
If the Thrashers won a cup within the first 3 years of drafting Crosby I think they would've stayed.
Having a player like Crosby would be good for attendances and would likely help financially but there's only so much he could bring - depends how bad the financial situation was. Pittsburgh would still exist as we'd have Fleury and Malkin.
What? The hawks are #1 in the league for attendance.. and what records?
The NBA team. Atlanta Hawks. The Atlanta Spirit Group owns them, and didn't want the Thrashers, though the two came in a pair. So they did everything they could to get rid of the NHL team while keeping the NBA team. The Thrashers leaving had little to do with anything other than terrible (hostile, even) 'ownership.'
Think Pitt would be fine because of the presence of Malkin. Surely not Stanley cup champions, but Geno has been durable enough since he's come into the league, and would have given the franchise some star power. Add in Letang, maybe a top FA since they'd have a lot more cap space, and it would still be a decent team.
Originally Posted by AintLifeGrand
2005-2006 Atlanta Thrashers Offense had this occured (and no Heatley Crash)
now THAT would have been scary. Add in that pavlevic was already drafted, and no matter what kind of D they iced (but I remember they had youth and promise with Exelby and Coburn on the back end) they would have been competitive.
Pittsburgh was closer to folding than most people realize. If Lemieux hadn't stood up they'd likely be gone. Lucky for the Penguins he did and he commanded a lot of respect among league owners and officials.
If there was ever a time to manipulate the draft, that was it, Crosby was a franchise saving talent.